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Namecheap Review & Rating

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Namecheap Review & Rating

Namecheap

9.1

Features

8.0/10

Ease of Use

9.8/10

Pricing

9.8/10

Reliability & Support

8.0/10

Location

9.8/10

Pros

  • FREE Domain and Migration
  • Free SSL
  • 30-day Money-Back Guarantee
  • Fully-Loaded Value Plan
  • Low prices

Cons

  • Poor Uptime – 99.86%
  • Problematic Customer Support
  • No Windows hosting
  • No Cloudflare on shared plans

What is Namecheap?

Namecheap  Inc. is an ICANN-accredited domain name registrar, which provides domain name registration and web hosting, based in Phoenix, Arizona. Namecheap is a budget hosting provider with 11 million registered users and 10 million domains

Fast and Easy to Use, Perfect for Beginners and Basic Websites

Namecheap is widely known for its discounted domain names, but like many other registrars, it has also branched out into hosting. Are the hosting solutions on par with the best of the best the internet has to offer? I signed up to find out.

Namecheap has been in the business since 2000 and has over 10 million active domains registered. It’s website hosting plans cover most hosting types and include shared, managed WordPress, VPS (virtual private server) machines, dedicated servers, and even private email hosting. All services are available in English.

Now, while it’s extremely tempting to purchase your domain name and hosting plan from the same provider, you should be wary of doing so. An all-in-one solution simplifies everything – from management to support and billing – but a jack of all trades is (usually) a master of none.

Laughing in the face of danger, I took the risk upon myself and signed up for managed WordPress hosting. To my surprise, I found a managed WordPress platform like few others, seamlessly designed and providing a fantastic user experience.

Still, does that ease of use come at the cost of features? Can the service really answer advanced needs, or will you find yourself limited and unable to grow? Well, read on and see for yourself!

Great Basic Features, but also Serious Limitations

Namecheap provides powerhouse VPS and dedicated servers, but we’ll focus on the shared hosting side of things. Shared hosting is the simplest, cheapest form of hosting, and in my opinion, there’s no better place to start.

With Namecheap, shared hosting includes two subcategories: Regular shared hosting and managed WordPress hosting.

I signed up for WordPress hosting, which is provided through Namecheap’s proprietary platform – EasyWP. EasyWP is a WordPress-only cloud-based plan and can’t be used with any other CMS (content management system). Regular shared hosting, on the other hand, lets you install any CMS through the use of Softaculous.

In terms of storage space and bandwidth, the basic EasyWP plan, Starter, has 10 GB SSD storage and allows for 50,000 monthly visitors. The mid-level plan, Turbo, comes with 50 GB of SSD space and about 200,000 monthly visitors. The most advanced plan, Supersonic, has 100 GB of space and about 500,000 monthly visitors.

This “monthly visitors” metric is confusing, as bandwidth is usually measured in GBs. I tried to get an answer from support, but they kept claiming that there’s really a “visitor counter” working in the background. Either way, your site will have a lot of room to grow.

On to regular shared hosting. The basic Stellar plan has 20 GB of SSD space, the second plan has unlimited space, and the last one is capped at 50 GB. Bandwidth is unmetered for all three.

You must be thinking – how come the mid-tier plan comes with more space than the most advanced one? According to Namecheap, it has something to do with “premium support” and “extra caching.” I think it’s just cheap.

Anyway, let’s go deeper, into features that can make or break your site.

What Type of Hosting Does Namecheap Offer?

Namecheap offers a variety of hosting plans, even though some may know the company name from their infamously cheap domain registrar. Additionally, they showcase some of the most wallet-friendly shared hosting options on the internet. But the other types of hosting they offer aren’t exactly expensive either, making Namecheap a well-rounded provider for smaller and larger businesses respectively.

If you’re interested in more control over your server, there is VPS hosting available, allowing you to gain root access. The dedicated servers are top tier and are most often used by large companies.

Namecheap also sells top-level domain names, apps, and private email hosting. You can migrate to Namecheap for free and get a free domain name along with an SSL option, too.

Namecheap SSLNamecheap has a fair selection of SSL certificates.

Namecheap is a one-stop shop with great pricing. In fact, you can get shared hosting for less than the cost of a domain name for the first year. They offer further add-ons like WhoIsGuard and Premium DNS services, although they are completely optional when signing up for your chosen hosting plan.

The History of Namecheap

Richard Kirkendall started the Namecheap company in 2000. It has been voted as one of the best domain name registrars across several polls over the years. A compelling part of Namecheap’s history includes how the company started accepting Bitcoin in 2013 as a form of payment.

As an organization, Namecheap started as a way to provide extremely affordable domains and hosting options to users. Not only that, but the founder insisted on some of the best customer services in the industry, making Namecheap a popular choice for first-time customers.

NameCheap’s Priorities Are In Place

The company has followed through in both areas, offering solid customer service over the years, along with very inexpensive domains and hosting offerings. You’ll also notice that Namecheap takes a strong stance against obnoxious upsells.

Moreover, Namecheap wants to put the customer first and make the interface as seamless as possible. An admirable quality for newcomer and bloggers, considering the occasional dependency on customer support.

Overall, Namecheap boasts a customer base of over three million users. Furthermore, over seven million people own domain names through the Namecheap service. That is a staggering proportion of ongoing clients to one-stop shoppers on their domain registrar.

Hosting Plans and Features

The main hosting solution from Namecheap comes in the form of shared hosting. We like shared hosting for smaller websites with lower traffic volumes since you shouldn’t have to worry about performance in an environment with shared resources.

World Class Domain Registrar and Simple Usability

Namecheap has achieved claim to fame in the hosting sector as a domain registrar first, as opposed to a hosting provider. Their extensive selection of top-level domains priced at very reasonable rates acts as relatable proof.

At the time of writing, the cheapest domain name is priced at only $0.88 for the first year.

Alongside the attractive domain marketplace, I’d highly recommend you to register an account with Namecheap for the sake of experiencing their uber-minimalist web hosting hub.

Namecheap Goes for Simplicity

Many hosting providers overwhelm users with complex dashboards, often impossible to navigate without prior knowledge. With Namecheap, however, a simple, user-friendly dashboard awaits you (see below).

What’s cool about Namecheap is that you can scale up as your site grows. So, if you think you’d like better performance, control, or security, you can opt for a VPS or dedicated server. As a blogger, scalability is a factor to constantly bear in mind – you can never anticipate an unexpected traffic spike.

Having the ability to instantly increase resources eliminates unnecessary future troubles.

WordPress Hosting

With the shared hosting from Namecheap, you can decide to go with a WordPress-specific plan, too. The WordPress hosting has one standard price, while the regular shared hosting has a few plans. The WordPress plan includes assistance and tools for launching with the WordPress CMS, specifically.

Namecheap WordPress

There are hundreds of plugins, some custom, and some stock, making tedious tasks as a webmaster much easier. Popular WordPress plugins can help you perform tasks related to:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Content presentation
  • Blogging
  • Design
  • Social sharing
  • Widgets
  • Data collection
  • Analytics
  • Shortcodes
  • Customizable WordPress themes

While playing developer is fun, it can be time-consuming and unproductive without the correct skill-set to get started.

WordPress was created for ambitious individuals who want to get a functional website up and running in a matter of minutes, and the additional plugins provided support this goal.

Shared Hosting

As for general shared hosting, Namecheap offers three plans (excluding WordPress Hosting).

The plans are only sold as yearly packages, and they are extremely cheap compared to their competition. In fact, the first year of Namecheap shared hosting might even be cheaper than the average domain name.

Before we explore further, here are the three shared hosting plans side-by-side:

After the first year, you can expect the yearly pricing to go up, but it’s still a great deal compared to other options on the market.

The company also gives you the opportunity to choose where you’d like to host your website. Namecheap has datacenters in the US and the UK, so make your decision based on that. You don’t have to live in one of those countries, but it’s best to select the one closest to you and your site visitors.

Performance and Features of Shared Plans

As for the features that come along with the shared hosting plans, you have plenty to take advantage of. Basic resources include 20 GB of accelerated SSD disk space and unlimited bandwidth for all plans.  More, support covers at least three websites, you have full access to cPanel and are promised a 100% uptime guarantee.

We’re not done. Support for subdomains, unlimited parked domains for all plans, and at least 50 FTP users are also part of the plan.

Other features include:

  • One-click installations for programs like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal
  • Twice a week backups for all packages
  • Over 100 free apps
  • Support for several email accounts and webmail
  • At least 50 MySQL databases
  • Support for things like Perl, Apache, PHP, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, and more
  • A virus and malware scanner
  • Dashboard stats for your websites

Money-Back Guarantee

The 14-day money back guarantee isn’t as long as other competitors’, but it should still be enough time to test out Namecheap and see how it works for your company. For all Stellar and Business plans, Namecheap offers an extended money-back guarantee period of 30 days.

Overall, the main benefit of going with Namecheap is the pricing. You can’t beat it with even the most discounted hosting provider out there. Namecheap does a good job of maintaining a stable and user-friendly infrastructure, too.

VPS Hosting

The next step up from shared hosting is a VPS. This sits right in the middle of shared and dedicated hosting, providing affordable plans with plenty of control over the server. You still typically share the server with a handful of websites, but the number of websites on the server is often limited to improve performance.

namecheapVPS

Namecheap offers self-managed and managed plans so you can decide whether or not you’d like to run the server yourself. VPS also provides full root access (similar to a dedicated server, yet none of the four plans are going to break the bank).

With the VPS hosting you get:

  1. At least 15 GB of RAID protected disk space
  2. At least one CPU
  3. At least 512 MB of RAM
  4. At least 100 GB of RAM
  5. 20 GB of managed backup storage for some of the plans
  6. Root level access
  7. Free dedicated IPs
  8. A selection of 1/3/6/12 month contracts
  9. 14-day money-back guarantee
  10. CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu or Fedora support (selected versions)

A VPS helps out significantly once your website starts to attract more visitors. Many companies have staff on call who can manage the server, but if you’d rather focus on your day-to-day operations, Namecheap has managed options too.

Dedicated Servers

A dedicated server is typically only for extremely high traffic sites. It offers full control over your server. Because of this control, you have full reign over the customization of the server. You can even choose certain features, such as hardware and operating systems.

Namecheap DedicatedNamecheap gives you the option of taking a new dedicated server, alternatively a cheaper option of a recycled one.

Namecheap sets up your dedicated server in around four hours, making it a quick configuration process. Additionally, you are allocated multiple Intel Cores for exceptional performance.

Dedicated Server Performance

Some of the dedicated hosting features include both single and multiple CPU plans, multiple Cores for all plans, at least 8 GM of RAM, at least 500 GB of hard drive, and at least 10 TB of bandwidth.

You’ll also get:

  • A Tier IV datacenter located in Phoenix
  • Supermicro Server Hardware
  • An uptime guarantee of 100% for most plans (one of the plans has a 99.9% uptime guarantee)

The dedicated plans from Namecheap are some of the cheapest solutions you’ll find. Most of the time you’d pay hundreds of dollars every month for a dedicated host, but that’s not the case with Namecheap.

Reseller Hosting

The reseller hosting program uses the Namecheap infrastructure for people to resell the hosting to their own clients. It’s simple.

You create your own sales website, build up a client list, then make use of the Namecheap datacenter and servers for your own customers. The plans are affordable for making a decent profit, moreover, you don’t have to spend any money on hardware.

Honestly, you could potentially turn a profit with one or two clients, seeing as how the Namecheap reseller plans are so affordable.

You can prepay for the reseller plans as well. So if you’d like a two-year contract, that decreases the monthly rate to save you a little cash in the long run.

Reseller Features

Let’s explore some of the offerings of the reseller program:

  • A full reseller control panel for handling clients and offering customer support.
  • Multi-site hosting.
  • Great servers and support from the Namecheap team.
  • Marketing tools.
  • Whitelabeling.
  • At least 25GB of disk space and at least 1000GB of bandwidth.

You also get a 99.9% uptime guarantee, unlimited hosted domains and subdomains, email accounts and webmail for your clients, a cPanel control panel for your clients, and most other perks you would expend to find in generic shared hosting plans.

Extras and Additional Services

You do have the option to get a free .website domain, but the basic domains come at a yearly price. Namecheap lets you transfer a domain you currently own, or you can purchase one directly after selecting your hosting plan.

You can buy a domain for multiple years, so be sure to select the number of years you wish to buy it for. As a new or soon-to-be webmaster, I recommend careful consideration of buying a domain name for multiple years.

Unless, of course, you are adamant you have secured the strongest possible name and domain type for your website.

Domain Add-Ons

Here are some other extras you might want to consider:

WhoIsGuard

This protects your personal information from spammers. Your email and name are connected to your website so anyone can technically see it. This results in tons of spam, so you have the option to hide it completely. Shared hosting plans provide this for the first year at no cost.

PremiumDNS

This gives you DDoS protection and a 100% uptime guarantee for as long as you have the DNS. It’s mainly recommended for high importance domains and business websites.

PositiveSSL

Pay for the encryption of all transactional data, and get a seal to let your customer know that your site is secure. You typically need this for e-commerce sites only.

After that, confirm your order and make a Namecheap account. Then you can move onto using the one-click installation options for various CMSs.

Apps and Domains

As we mentioned before, Namecheap provides a domain search tool to check if a domain name is available.

If your desired website name is taken, the domain search engine will suggest alternative name endings (e.g: if ‘funkyspider.com is taken, ‘funkyspider.org‘ may pop us as an available suggestion, providing it’s available).

Namecheap Apps

In addition, Namecheap has several apps that are both free and premium. Over 100 free apps come with all plans allowing you to take advantage of tools like Symantec Swap, Canvas, and Public.

Some of the premium apps include the following:

  • Strikingly
  • MarketGoo
  • Weebly
  • Namecheap Legal
  • EasyWP
  • Sitebooster
  • Ghost Machine
  • GSuite by Google Apps

When you select one of the apps, you’ll be pleased to find there are one-click installations for all of them. Some of the apps have separate dashboards, but some let you manage your accounts through the Namecheap interface.

Uptime and Response Time

With an already impressive uptime guarantee of 99.9%, we thought it would be insightful to gather historical data on both Namecheap’s uptime and response time. Speed is another quality that should be considered as second to none – after all, who want to browse and use a slow website?

Here is Namecheap’s historical uptime and response time data for the past 10 months:

Looking at the data, Namecheap has boasted an average response time of  617.7 ms and an average uptime of  99.933%, staying within the bounds of their generous guarantee.

Namecheap Customer Support

The Namecheap customer support team has a mission of putting the customer first. Namecheap has become one of the biggest domain and hosting providers in the world and it wasn’t by accident. The company achieved this on the back of top customer support.

Along with wide social presence, a varied knowledge base, and a ticketing system, Namecheap provides a live chat area for you to post your hosting queries and speak with a real support assistant. Should you hate picking up the phone, you’ll appreciate this feature in the long run.

Namecheap’s blog houses further updates and tips.

We particularly like the Abuse page, which has a form for reporting abuses of the Namecheap platform. Finally, you can check status updates and search through the entire support center to see if your problem has been talked about in the past. The only downside of the Namecheap support team is that it doesn’t have a direct phone line for all plans.

Namecheap Support

This might not bother some people, but many users would rather speak to a rep on the phone.

Where Does Namecheap Excel?

There’s no doubt about it, the main reason users choose Namecheap is because of their low pricing. It’s hard to pass up the fact that you can get shared hosting for less than a domain name. Additionally, Namecheap’s incredibly simplistic user-friendly dashboard has acted as nothing but inviting.

With little distraction, anyone with the slightest idea of how to work a website could navigate at ease.

The pricing remains low throughout all of the types of hosting as well. You’d be hard-pressed to locate a VPS or dedicated server that’s cheaper than what’s offered here. Not only that, but you get wonderful tools and freebies in each of the hosting plans. Some of the plans have free domain names, while others offer SSD support.

The twice-a-week backups offer peace of mind. And the free dedicated IPs on VPS plans stand out. These are typically only used on VPS and e-commerce sites, so it’s nice that you don’t have to pay extra for them.

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